Paul M. Banas on Consumer Insights, Marketing Research, and the Digital Media Landscape
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Needs Based Digital Marketing

When you boil it down to its essence, consumer behavior is dictated by needs and wants. Consumers very rarely buy something solely because of their demographics.

In other words, demographics help us form a picture of who a consumer is who buys a product, but almost never do they tell us why.

This post by Jolina at the Online Marketing Blog talks about moving from targeting Demographics to something called “Momentgraphics” in digital marketing. She also provides a good example of what this means:

“Momentgraphics focuses on the periods of time in which we need to target prospects. For example, someone searching for the phrase ‘cold medicine that works in less time’ is the prime target for a company producing cold medicine. The demographics of that person are irrelevant because we know they are in a ‘target moment’ making them the target market. “

While I think “momentgraphics” seems kind of kludgy as a term, the idea behind it is sound, since it brings traditional needs based consumer insights to the digital immediacy of search engine marketing.


1 Robin { 02.07.08 at 8:31 am }

I agree that focusing on time is important. Looking at this from a slightly different angle, a recent AdAge article talks about the need to look at interplay of consumer’s time and risk in marketing:

While I agree that we don’t by things only because of our demographics, characteristics like gender, age, geography still dictate many of our needs. (If I live in Alaska, I’m probably going to buy a warm winter coat).

2 Paul M. Banas { 02.07.08 at 1:13 pm }

Very good point on living in Alaska. With almost 20 inches of snow yesterday on top of the previous 60, I’d also add Wisconsin to that list!

I realize I may have oversimplified a bit, but I’ve seen so much weight put on the defining characteristics of demographics at the expense true consumer behavior and needs, especially in the area of media buying, that I’m happy that search marketers are finally coming around as well.

This is especially advantageous for search, where consumer intent is being captured constantly by Google and other search engines.

Thanks also for the great AdAge link.


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